Shoes of Peace
The idea of standing firm or holding your ground is a concept that many of us can associate with. Saint Paul, in the Book of Ephesians, as I have mentioned many times before would see the Roman Soldier, which was armed and armored ready to fight and go to war. Rome was a superior army that had excellent tactics and weapons of warfare. The genius and prowess of their understanding allowed them to conquer their predecessors, the empire of Greece, which I believe fell mainly to the death of Alexander the Great. A military structure is only as powerful as the leaders—the weaker the leader, the more unorganized the structure. Yes - the zeal and strength of the army is important, but it is those who are leading them who instill the courage and drive that allows the military to conquer and keep conquering. A good soldier is willing to fight, the best soldier is willing to fight and die for what they believe in, whether it is for their home or country.
The ideology of what they fight for is what they stand on. For Rome, the belief of their country bringing the truth to the world was what was needed to drive so many men to fight. They believed that they were the empire that would bring peace and they needed to crush all who stood in their way, not to mention that a lot of the Caesars believed that they were gods and that they had a divine right to own the world—but that is another discussion for another time—what is important is that the army who fought believed in something enough to fight.
What Saint Paul was conveying was the idea that we too, as an army of Christians, needed to be prepared having our feet shod with the Gospel of Peace. Standing on what we believe is the heart of our fight. As I said, a Christian willing to fight is a good soldier, but a Christian who is willing to fight and die for Christ is a superb soldier. Now, I am not talking about going in killing you or dying needlessly, I am talking about men such as Saints Peter and Paul who stood their ground until they were executed for what they believed and preached. Their martyrdom was and is a witness to Christ.
We need to fight. We need to stand up against the world and make a stand and the only way we can do that is to stand firm on the Gospel, our Faith, and dig our heals in and not give up ground to anyone. We need to be witnesses of Christ and pick up where the examples of Saints Peter and Paul and others left us. But that is not what happens is it. The world can say what they want about us Christians and we stand back and say nothing. We allow the darkness to take over and swallow the light. We allow the evil to take control. The word I most want you to understand is ALLOW. We are the most powerful army on this planet because of the One who leads us, Christ is our Commanding Officer. What He teaches us leads us to the truth and to the hope of change, the possibility of change. Yes, it is true we will suffer, and hurt and possibly die for what we believe, but that is the truth of any war. The difference is that when we die, God willingly, we are found worthy enough to enter into the Kingdom of God.
Standing firm in our beliefs is a way for us to stay centered and focused on the God who came and saw and conquered. It was through His death and resurrection that the war was finally won. We often time are afraid to speak out against pornography, homosexuality and satanic ideas because we are afraid of the repercussions, but if really we believe in the promise that was made to us, what should we fear? Will they kill us for speaking the truth? It is possible for sure. We cannot speak out against the terrorists. We cannot speak out against corruption in the churches. We cannot speak out against corruption in our governments. The truth is we need to. The truth is we need to stand firm on the Gospel of Peace.
Now do not get me wrong, I am not talking about going in and becoming an extremist. We, as Christians, have the duty and the responsibility to serve Christ (Who is Love) with both love and with humility. Yes, there is a time to turn over the tables of the money changers, but never to kill. Am I pacifist—yes and no. I also believe there is a time for war, where we must go and fight and kill as long as we are fighting for our country and the freedom we most hold dear.
Everything we do, we need to do for Christ. Christ came with a radical message of love and peace—but make no assumptions that He did not come ready for a fight. Christ cast out demons and railed against the leaders of the church. He stood for the message of His Father. He came ready to die for what He believed in. He stood firm on the knowledge that even if He died—IT WAS NOT THE END! Christ came and led the army into battle; He went into the fray first. He did not ask anything of us that He Himself did not go through first.